Justin Roiland trial: have charges against Rick and Morty creator been dropped - what did he say on Twitter?

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
An Orange County district attorney’s spokesperson said that the two felony counts against Roiland were dropped ‘due to lack of sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt’

California prosecutors have dropped domestic violence charges against Justin Roiland, who created the animated series Rick And Morty and provided the voices of the show’s two title characters. Orange County district attorney’s spokeswoman Kimberly Edds said the two felony counts involving a former girlfriend were dropped “due to a lack of sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt”.

While the charges against Roiland have been dropped, he was also accused of predatory behaviour and sending inappropriate messages to minors. Screenshots of messages claiming to be between Roiland and teens were leaked online, however Roiland has not addressed the allegations.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Why was Justin Roiland on trial?

Roiland, 43, had been awaiting trial on charges of corporal injury and false imprisonment by menace, fraud, violence or deceit against the woman, who he was living with at the time. She was not identified in court documents.

The incident occurred in January of 2020 and Roiland was charged in May of that year, but the charges apparently went unnoticed by media outlets until NBC News reported them on Thursday, when a pre-trial hearing was held in the case.

Producer Justin Roiland speaks onstage during the Adult Swim: Rick and Morty panel at the Turner Broadcasting portion of the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 24, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)Producer Justin Roiland speaks onstage during the Adult Swim: Rick and Morty panel at the Turner Broadcasting portion of the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 24, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Producer Justin Roiland speaks onstage during the Adult Swim: Rick and Morty panel at the Turner Broadcasting portion of the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 24, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Emails seeking comment from Roiland’s attorney and representatives for Cartoon Network, which airs Rick and Morty in the US, were not immediately returned.

A protective order states that Roiland must keep at least 100ft away from his accuser at all time, and to not harass, threaten or spy on her. He was also instructed to turn over any firearms in his possession so police can keep them until at least October 2023.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

What did Justin Roiland say on Twitter?

On Twitter, Roiland tweeted out a picture of a statement, which was accompanied by a caption that just read “justice”.

The statement said: “I have always known that these claims were false - and I never had any doubt that this day would come. I’m thankful that this case has been dismissed but, at the same time, I’m still deeply shaken by the horrible lies that were reported about me during this process.

“Most of all, I’m disappointed that so many people were so quick to judge without knowing the facts, based solely on the word of an embittered ex trying to bypass due process and have me “cancelled”. That is may have succeeded, even partially, is shameful.

“However, now that the legal case has ended, I’m determined to move forward and focus both on my creative projects and restoring my good name.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In the replies to his statement, a number of people called out Roiland for the allegations of grooming minors online.

One person wrote: “Ok. What about the whole “sexting teenagers” thing though man.”

Another commented: “Cool. So all those disgusting private messages you were were also fake? Including the ones to actual friends of mine? They’re all liars? Is that the story?”

“Remember all those teenage girls you DMed? Remeber the super racist one where you did the Chinese stereotype voice? We all remember them Justin,” tweeted another.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Did Adult Swim sever ties with him?

Adult Swim ended its association with Roiland whilst he was awaiting trial. A statement from the channel said that the popular US cartoon would continue into season seven, despite the writer’s absence.

Along with Dan Harmon, Roiland created the animated sci-fi sitcom about a mad scientist and his grandson, and provides the voices of the two title characters. Rick and Morty has aired for six seasons on Cartoon Network as part of its Adult Swim night-time programming block, and has been renewed for a seventh.

A statement released by Adult Swim read: “Adult Swim has ended its association with Justin Roiland. Rick and Morty will continue. The talented and dedicated crew are hard at work on Season 7.”

Did he make High on Life?

In 2016, Roiland launched the video game development studio Squanch Games, which has since developed four games - Accounting in 2016, Dr. Splorchy Presents: Space Heroes in 2018, Trover Saves the Universe in 2019, and High on Life in 2022.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Justin Roiland visits the #IMDboat At San Diego Comic-Con 2022: Day One on The IMDb Yacht on July 21, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for IMDb)Justin Roiland visits the #IMDboat At San Diego Comic-Con 2022: Day One on The IMDb Yacht on July 21, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for IMDb)
Justin Roiland visits the #IMDboat At San Diego Comic-Con 2022: Day One on The IMDb Yacht on July 21, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for IMDb) | Getty Images for IMDb

High on Life is a first person shooter game which was released on 13 December 2022 on Windows, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

According to the Squanch Games High on Life FAQ, Roiland “has been, and continues to be, heavily involved in the creation of High on Life. From creating the original concept to taking part in design and development, this game is his (new) baby”.

Does Justin Roiland work with Dan Harmon?

Prior to being dropped from Adult Swim, Roiland and Dan Harmon, who is best known as the creator and producer of the sitcom Community, worked together on Rick and Morty, which they created together after Harmon was approached by Adult Swim to make a new animated series for the network in 2012.

Roiland voiced both main characters, Rick Sanchez and his grandson Morty Smith, and was both co-writer and executive producer alongside Harmon.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In 2018, Harmon faced his own controversy when allegations of sexual misconduct were made against him - specifically by Megan Ganz, a writer who worked with Harmon on Community.

Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland speak onstage at the #IMDboat at San Diego Comic-Con 2019: Day Three at the IMDb Yacht on July 20, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for IMDb)Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland speak onstage at the #IMDboat at San Diego Comic-Con 2019: Day Three at the IMDb Yacht on July 20, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for IMDb)
Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland speak onstage at the #IMDboat at San Diego Comic-Con 2019: Day Three at the IMDb Yacht on July 20, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for IMDb) | Getty Images for IMDb

Following a Twitter exchange between the two of them in which Ganz called him out on his behaviour, Harmon went on to make a lengthy apology on his podcast called Harmontown in which he went into details about what he had done to Ganz.

Ganz called his speech a “masterclass into how to apologise” and urged her Twitter followers to give it a listen.

Harmon received further criticism later that same year after a video of a comedy skit from 2009 resurfaced online. The video, titled Daryl, was supposed to be a parody of Dexter, and portrayed Harmon raping a baby.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In a statement at the time, Harmon said: “In 2009, I made a ‘pilot’ which strove to parody the series Dexter and only succeeded in offending. I quickly realised the content was way too distasteful and took the video down immediately. Nobody should ever have to see what you saw and for that, I sincerely apologise.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.